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Apr 05, 2017 09:07 AM EDT

Researchers Fear For Marine Life, Effects Could Be Global & Catastrophic


Researchers reveal the magnitude of the damage done by humans to the ocean, if not to the entire planet. Well, people produce millions of tons of garbage every day that endangers marine life. Sadly, the majority of these wastes end up as ocean litter through illegal dumping.

Litterbase compiled all data from more than a thousand studies from 1960 to 2017. It discovered that over 10 billion pieces of litter per square kilometer go to beaches and patches of the sea along the shores of South Korea and Jordan. Moreover, almost 70 percent of that garbage is non-biodegradable plastic. The remaining 30 percent includes pieces of glass and metal.

Also, tiny shards of plastic - measuring less than five millimeters - are the most prevalent. Otherwise known as microplastics, these materials often get straight into the stomach of sea creatures. For one thing, large pieces of garbage break down due to intense sunlight and strong saltwater currents.

Now, Science Mag reported that all of these litter make marine life too difficult. Fishes and other aquatic species struggle to survive. Actually, 1200 marine animals get entangled with garbage. Both crustaceans and mammals either live in litter or rely on it for food.

One of the major causes of sea pollution is the growing irresponsible human population. The world's industrialization also adds up to the improper waste management of people. To reduce business costs, a lot of factories prefer packages meant to be used for a short time only. Afterward, all of them become waste materials.

Lastly, shipping lines and fishermen boats contribute to the colossal ocean problem as fishing gears are easily damaged or lost. Other garbage from landmasses gets transported to the ocean through river systems. Once litter reaches the marine ecosystem, they can only be removed if everyone is willing to help out. Without great effort, cleaning the waters of the Earth is close to impossible because water comprises 70 percent of the planet.

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